from books of the
Minor Prophets

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the Bible

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probable date: 760-750 BCE

For translation and copyright information, see version links in the left column.

KJV 3:6 Shall a trumpet be blown in the city, and the people not be afraid? shall there be evil in a city, and the LORD hath not done it?

Note (Hal’s): A footnote in the NEB offers an alternate reading: “If there is evil in a city, will not the LORD act?”

— end note

Cited by:

Charles Williams

JPS 5:21-24

I loathe, I spurn your festivals,

I am not appeased by your solemn assemblies.

If you offer Me burnt offerings—or your meal offerings—

I will not accept them;

I will pay no heed

To your gifts of fatlings.

Spare Me the sound of your hymns,

And let Me not hear the music of your lutes.

But let justice well up like water,

Righteousness like an unfailing stream.

text checked (see note) Jan 2005; Jul 2009

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Date: if written by the Jonah of 2 Kings 14:25, prior to 725 BCE
Levine and Brettler offer a scholarly opinion placing it in a post-exilic context.

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JPS 2:5-9
(6-10 in Hebrew)

The waters closed in over me,

The deep engulfed me.

Weeds twined around my head.

I sank to the base of the mountains;

The bars of the earth closed upon me forever.

Yet You brought my life up from the pit,

O LORD my God!

When my life was ebbing away,

I called the LORD to mind;

And my prayer came before You,

Into Your holy Temple.

They who cling to empty folly

Forsake their own welfare,

But I, with loud thanksgiving,

Will sacrifice to You;

What I have vowed I will perform.

Deliverance is the LORD’s!


“Let everyone turn back from his evil ways and from the injustice of which he is guilty. Who knows but that God may turn and relent? He may turn back from his wrath, so that we do not perish.”

God saw what they did, how they were turning back from their evil ways. And God renounced the punishment He had planned to bring upon them, and did not carry it out.

This displeased Jonah greatly, and he was grieved. He prayed to the LORD, saying, “O LORD! Isn’t this just what I said when I was still in my own country? That is why I fled beforehand to Tarshish. For I know that You are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in kindness, renouncing punishment. Please, LORD, take my life, for I would rather die than live.” The LORD replied, “Are you that deeply grieved?”


Then God said to Jonah, “Are you so deeply grieved about the plant?” “Yes,” he replied, “so deeply that I want to die.”

Then the LORD said: “You cared about the plant, which you did not work for and which you did not grow, which appeared overnight and perished overnight. And should not I care about Nineveh, that great city, in which there are more than a hundred and twenty thousand persons who do not yet know their right hand from their left, and many beasts as well?”

text checked (see note) Jul 2009

Note (Hal’s):
Jonah is a remarkable prophet. He runs away rather than prophesy, and when forced to do so, his prophecy doesn’t come true. He then blames God for being merciful, apparently forgetting his own effusive praise when God saved his (Jonah’s) life. He frequently tells God he would rather die than submit to God’s will.

— end note

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Date: between 750 and 686 BCE

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JPS 6:8-9a

“He has told you, O man, what is good,

And what the LORD requires of you:

Only to do justice

And to love goodness,

And to walk modestly with your God;

Then will your name achieve wisdom.”




Who is a God like You,

Forgiving iniquity

And remitting transgression;

Who has not maintained His wrath forever

Against the remnant of His own people,

Because He loves graciousness!

He will take us back in love;

He will cover up our iniquities,

You will hurl all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.

text checked (see note) Jul 2009

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Date: c. 605 BCE

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JPS 1:2-4

How long, O LORD, shall I cry out

And You not listen,

Shall I shout to You, “Violence!”

And You not save?

Why do You make me see iniquity

[Why] do You look upon wrong?—

Raiding and violence are before me,

Strife continues and contention goes on.

That is why decision fails

And justice never emerges;

For the villain hedges in the just man—

Therefore judgment emerges deformed.

text checked (see note) Jul 2009

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“Malachi” may be a title (“my messenger”) rather than a name.
Date: about 433-430 BCE

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JPS 2:17

You have wearied the LORD with your talk. But you ask, “By what have we wearied [Him]?” By saying, “All who do evil are good in the sight of the LORD, and in them He delights,” or else, “Where is the God of justice?”

text checked (see note) Jul 2009

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